Thursday, December 2, 1999--1:50PM--Household International Inc. signed an agreement to purchase Renaissance Holdings Inc., the sub-prime credit card marketing company, with which it has had a partnership for nearly one year.

The $300 million deal solidifies Household's commitment to the sub-prime market. Earlier this year Prospect Heights, Ill.-based Household halted its mass mail marketing to focus primarily on the higher credit risk customers to whom it already sells mortgages, auto-loans, private label cards among other products.

Analysts praised the pairing, saying the companies complement each other strategically. Portland, Ore.-based Renaissance, a privately-held company, has been handling Household's sub-prime card marketing

"Household has been doing a lot of soul-searching over the last 18 months," said David Robertson, president of The Nilson Report, an industry newsletter in Oxnard, Calif.

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